Would you like to earn $60,000 or more during your lifetime without working another minute? Yes, it can be done and you will be healthier and have a better quality of life. By attaining normal weight and maintaining it, you can save money on food and illness care, AND you can be more productive and have more money in your pocket. Two of three people in the United States are overweight or obese. Diabetes is increasingly a disease of younger people because of obesity in childhood. A change of eating habits is not easy, but it is the first step in achieving normal weight and improving life-style.


We eat to satisfy hunger and function in daily activities. People usually don’t consider the cost-per-calorie when they eat, even if they have an idea of the calories they consume. Only the quantity of calories is considered here, not the type of calorie in terms of protein, fat or carbohydrates.

Fast food calories are easy to get and usually of modest cost. For instance a Big Mac packs a lot of calories in a sandwich. If a person eats at MacDonald’s once a week, ordering a Big Mac, fries, and a milk shake, the cost is about $8.50 (price varies a bit by location). The calorie count for this meal is 1350. If a person eats this meal once a week for a year, the calorie count is 70,200, and the cost is $440.00. If these calories are over the person’s minimum daily requirement (MDR), this equals a 20 lb. annual weight gain.

The above example of a meal at MacDonald’s can be reproduced in most fast food restaurants: Wendy’s, Hardy’s, Burger King, Taco Bell, etc. Go to the website “” to find the calories in servings at 275 chain restaurants coast to coast.


Each person’s daily calorie need varies greatly, depending on genetics, employment, physiologic and metabolic body functions – all have a part in describing one’s lifestyle. An important factor on life-style is how a person reacts to stress. In general, though, a lumberjack burns more calories than a person with a desk job. A good website to find your daily calorie needs is “”. It computes your lifestyle type and daily calorie needs.

New Year’s resolutions, crash diet regimens, and other fad solutions are not the best ways to lose weight and maintain normal weight. Diet regimens cost a lot, as do exercise machines and club memberships. While there are some advantages, they do not establish sensible eating habits.


Serving size is talked about a lot, and for good reason. A 100 calorie serving of meat is the size of a single deck or cards, much smaller than is served in most restaurant entrees. Potato chips and other chips meet the 100 calorie level when one consumes 10 – 13 chips. A one-quarter slice of a 12” pizza is 400 calories. A standard 12-oz. beer is 150 calories; an 8 oz. of wine, and 1 oz. of liquor are the same. A 12 oz. light beer is about 90 calories. A good social night out combines all the above and can total 2000 or more calories. Do not feel guilt over enjoying good food and drink, just consume smaller portions. Some people solve this by ordering one entrée, to be shared with a partner or friend. Even with an extra plate charge, the cost is less in both money and calories. Then there is always the take-home box, or else leaving food on the plate, if you can get over the guilt. Food is fun and food guilt will make it harder to achieve your ideal weight.


It has never been easier to eat at home. Today’s markets offer more products and fresh food and deli options than ever. Again, serving size is the clue to calorie intake. If cooking for one, make use of the freezer to divide one big recipe into separate meals. This is so much cheaper than succumbing to the temptation to stop at a fast food place for a quick calorie load. Train yourself to divide portions, no matter where the food originates. Celery sticks, almonds, cut-up veggies with a yogurt dip can slice your cravings in half. By the time you munch on these low-calorie chews, you will be able to resist the other menu temptations.


The guideposts to achieving normal weight and good eating:

  1. Eat to live, not live to eat
  2. Eat slowly—talk more. The food is not going to run away
  3. Use a smaller plate—let one-third of the plate show
  4. No second helpings
  5. The best exercise for losing weight is to push away from the table.


If you establish sound eating habits as shown above, you will save up to $4,400 in 10 years, or $17,600 in 40 years. Investing that $440 each year at 5% compound interest, you would have an extra $59,000 in 40 years. The improved quality of life you might have by a healthier lifestyle is incalculable. An excellent book to get you started on this path is “Eat, Move, Sleep” by Tom Rath.

Good food is one of life’s greatest pleasures. It can be enjoyed more by estimating your caloric intake until you have established a true balance in you daily diet.

You will feel better, look better, be healthier, have more energy, and SAVE MONEY.

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